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Education Workers Union Frustrated by Government

By Randy Thoms Oct 31, 2022 | 7:59 AM

President of CUPE's Ontario School Council of Unions Laura Walton addresses media Oct. 3, 2022

CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Union has given notice of a potential walkout by its members on Friday if a new deal isn’t reached.

The union says it has been trying to come to a settlement for 150 days.

Union president Laura Walton says they first presented the intent to bargain a day after the June provincial election.

“We have been urging the Ford government to reach a deal with us for 150 days, but so far they keep saying ‘no’ even though they could easily afford to say ‘yes’ given their $2.1 billion surplus,” says Walton.

Wages remain at the heart of the dispute.

The union wants a wage increase of $3.25 an hour for all employees.

The province is offering 2 per cent for those earning less than $40 thousand and 1.25 per cent for all others.

“With kids being sent home from school because there aren’t enough staff available and so many education workers relying on foodbanks, it’s sad that we’re being told the pressure of a potential strike is needed to make the Ford government take our negotiations seriously.”

“When will the Ford government stop with the cuts, quit stalling, and end their threats of anti-democratic legislation? It’s time for Premier Ford and Minister Lecce to recognize what’s at stake for students trying to learn in the schools they’ve starved of funding.”

The union is also looking for a commitment to more frontline staff, including having at least one early childhood educator in every kindergarten class.

Both sides are back in mediated talks on Tuesday.



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